At the Home Care & Rehabilitation Expo 2010, Panasonic exhibited, a prototype hair-washing robot.
This hair-washing robot utilizes Panasonic’s robot hand technology. The left and right arm mechanisms adjust the pressure used to wash hair, depending on the shape of the user’s head.
“People have all sorts of head shapes and hairstyles, and to scan them fully, we’ve developed a new 3D scanning mechanism. This mechanism utilizes robot hand technology, which was previously developed by Panasonic, to learn a variety of shapes. And we’ve built the mechanism into this robot.”
The robot is designed to act like a person washing their hands. Its left and right end-effectors wash the user’s hair as if they’re giving a massage, while pressing the head gently.
“First of all, the robot uses plenty of hot water to loosen up the hair, then it applies mousse and shampoo. Next, the robot washes the hair by stroking and squeezing. After it’s done enough massaging, it finishes by rinsing off the shampoo.”
“In hospitals and care facilities, some people only have two baths scheduled per week, but they want to wash their hair more often. We’d like such patients to utilize this robot. Also, staff who wash patients’ hair a lot sometimes get chapped hands and backache, but this robot can help them out. It could also be used in hair salons as well.”
This robot can also give dry massages, so it could be used for relaxation purposes as well.